Robert Parker 96
From one of the most celebrated vineyards in Monforte d’Alba, the 2009 Barolo Bussia shows a tad more color and concentration upon first inspection. As expected, it also follows through with bigger aromas of dried cherry, spice and dark licorice, but nothing is out of place. It never abandons its promise of understated elegance. Anticipated maturity: 2015-2028. The big news at Prunotto (Marchesi Antinori’s estate in Monforte d’Alba) is the near completion of a state-of-the-art winery. This is the latest project added to the Florentine family’s already impressive list of wineries spanning the Italian peninsula. Starting this fall, the new building will house the estate’s more prestigious wine, the Barolo Bussia Riserva Vigna Colonnello. Its first edition, the 2008 vintage, will be released in 2014. I was delighted to see how far this winery has come. Just a few years ago, I recall darkly jammy and over extracted wines from Prunotto. But the current offers are anything but. They show enormous elegance and poise, even in the warmer vintages. Importer: Ste. Michelle Wine Estates, Woodinville, WA; tel. (425) 415-3738
Anticipated maturity: 2015-2028
(13.5% alcohol): Palish cherry-red. Musky aromas of red cherry, raspberry, pungent smoky minerals, rose, truffley underbrush and ash. Broad, supple and suave, with good complexity to the red berry and underbrush flavors. Not the last word in lift or fruit intensity but more vibrant than the 2009 normale, if still in a rather polite style. Finishes with firm, dusty tannins and lingering perfume.